China’s President Xi Jinping is willing to work together with Zimbabwe’s new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, an envoy said yesterday, giving hope to the possible revival of ‘mega deals’ signed between the two countries two years ago.
Mnangagwa came to power after the southern African nation’s long time ruler Robert Mugabe gave in to pressure from the military and resigned last week.
The Asian country and Harare signed a raft of ‘mega deals’ when Jinping visited the southern African country in December 2015.
These included energy and telecommunications deals worth about $1.1 billion as part of 10 government-to-government agreements, most of which appear to have stalled.
Through its Export and Import bank, China has doled out loans to Zimbabwe including $150 million to upgrade the Victoria Falls airport and $355 million for the expansion of Kariba hydro power plant.
State owned fixed line operator, Telone, is also benefiting from a $98 million loan to modernise its fibre infrastructure .
China’s foreign affairs deputy minister Chen Xiaodong told reporters that the Chinese were willing to continue their corporation with Zimbabwe.
“China attaches high importance to its bilateral relations with Zimbabwe no matter how the situation evolves. China firmly supports the people of Zimbabwe in pursuing a development path suited to its own national conditions we will firmly support the government and people of Zimbabwe”.
“The purpose of this visit is to demonstrate China’s support for the people of Zimbabwe and the new administration and exchange views on deepening our traditional friendship and enhancing our cooperation in various views and move forward our bilateral ties.”
China remains the country’s top trading partner. Last year Zimbabwe imported goods worth $365 million from the Asian giant.
Xiandong’s visit followed that of the United Kingdom’s Africa minister Rory Stewart last week after prime minister Theresa May declared, after Mugabe’s fall, that ‘Britain is Zimbabwe’s oldest friend.’-The Source